If there is a God, he was here today…

Eric & Rachel - Eric's 2012 GraduationScene: Eric’s graduation yesterday.  Sitting among hundreds of parents, friends, and family members. Beautiful…BEAUTIFUL…sunny afternoon.  Whisps of gentle cooling breeze rustled the surrounding trees and the tassels.  I close my eyes and the Eagles’ song Peaceful Easy Feeling comes to mind.  If there is a God, he was here this afternoon.

The mood was set early.  A student on his way to Julliard sang “You Raise Me Up” honoring parents and the faculty.  His booming baritone voice filled our hearts and souls.

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be; Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up… To more than I can be.”

Then came a beautiful rendition of OneRepublic’s “Good Life”

“Oh this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life…”

One child is sitting next to me already graduated – wearing a beautiful sun dress – glowing, happy, beautiful.

And now, here’s another crossing the stage.  He’s grown up to be a man.

I return home after the ceremony to find an email from a good friend saying she read my post on Eric yesterday while she was listening to a new song by Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder.  A song he wrote for his child.

I sat down.  I’m alone.  And I played it.  Once.  Twice.  And then three times.

didn’t have to ask you, just took my hand
off we went skipping throughout the land
the sky was blue and the blood filled my head
me and you skipping throughout the land
all of my life from beginning to end
what i remember is holding your hand
and all that i’ll cherish is that time that we’ve spent
me and you skipping throughout the land
all the loves lost and the one that i found
you lifted my gaze up off of the ground
forever we’ll talk and forever we’ll drown
in each other skipping around
gravity pulls so many men down
the atmosphere breathes but not in this town
you took me away and you held me so proud
skipping, skipping, skipping around
all the king’s horses and all the king’s men
could not keep me from holding your hand
when all that i wanted was something to protect
and all that i needed was your voice in my head
and all i remember from this life that i lived
is me and you skipping throughout the land

And then I cried.  This touching, gentle and beautiful song was played for me.

The Pearl Jam front man delivers a heartfelt performance full of gorgeous self-harmonizing that does a fine job of encapsulating the tenderness, fragility, pride, joy and immersive love of a bond between a father and child, wrapped in the metaphor of skipping along with her. He knows that the moment and innocent joy can’t possibly last forever, and the song is a conveyance of cherishing that fleeting purity of a childhood connection with a parent.

We’re sitting listening to a commencement speaker who mentions #YOLO. I ask Rachel what does #YOLO mean? She looks at me: “Really Dad?

You Only Live Once.

Quote Source: Aniquiet.com

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  1. Beautiful! Congrats Eric.


  2. Perfection…..congratulations!


  3. Sitting here sobbing on the weight bench at the gym…arguably the most beautiful post I have ever read.yolo David – you’re doing it…bravo


  4. Wow. David, this may be the best of many fine posts you have written. Thanks for sharing…


  5. Very nice sir and congratulations.


  6. I had to wipe a few tears off the keyboard from this post. Congratulations Eric, you did it!Oh Happy Day!


  7. Stephen says:

    Beautiful, Dave … chicken soup for the soul. Your pride and love for your family shines bright. “Thank you”, for sharing it with us.


  8. Frank H says:

    Nice. Time goes by too fast.


  9. Thanks for reminding all of us what is really important


  10. Jo-Ann Titley says:

    Congrats Eric. Where did the time go?


  11. GO DEACS!


  12. Oh, that made the tears flow for sure…remembering how I felt too as I watched my own son graduate last Friday. You are surely a beautiful human being to feel such deep love. Thank you for this post.


  13. Rannie Hewitt says:

    Great post Dave, I know the feeling you get watching them walk across that podium. Congrats Eric!!!


  14. LaDona's Music Studio says:

    Lovely, lovely. Thank you for sharing the day and, especially, the photo. Great kids aren’t born that way – they’re raised that way. Congratulations to you and Susan.
    And there IS a God, and he was surely there…


  15. Beautiful. This post gave me chicken skin and tears. Beautiful.


  16. You must be so Proud Dave and Susan…ditto to LaDona’s post – Great kids are raised that way!!! A Life well done!!!


  17. What a day! So many emotions culminating in a lovely day.


  18. “Any man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad.” Proverbs. Such a lovely testament to what’s clearly a wonderful bond. You have beautiful children, David, and as many others have said, that didn’t happen by accident. Congrats to Eric–may this be just the beginning of his incredible journey….


  19. Thanks for that lovely post, and the song. I’m looking forward to my son’s graduation ceremony in October with great pride.


  20. lindadonz says:

    Oh the depths of your soul that you so beautifully capture to share with us. What a wonderful journey


  21. thanks for sharing Dave& Susan indeed a proud moment.


  22. Such a precious moment, I am so glad it was such a beautiful day for your family 🙂


  23. Awesome ! I had my convocation recently in February 2012 and I know how important this day is for kids and their parents. It really is heart touching. Congrats Eric ! =)


  24. Steve Gorlick says:

    Thank you for always remining us to count our blessings! We understand the importance of how meaningful days like this can be…


  25. Vera Kanigan says:

    Hi Dave, Our congratulations to Eric and many good wishes for success! What a beautiful post and photo of him and Rachael, love it! Staying in Oakville, Ontario with younger grandkids, Walter has Kristian to enjoy. Lots of family memories, but you re making your own beautiful ones.bless you all! Love, Vera


  26. Tom Hood says:

    Thanks for sharing the images of what must’ve been a wonderful, magic day. The picture above indeed shows the product of a proud mother and father’s work. Your two beautiful children are now dignified adults. Congratulations, nice work, and my best to your whole family. I can only hope to experience the same thing one day. Only 14 more years!


  27. Congratulations!


  28. Congrats. Lovely post with a lovely song. Thanks you wrote the lyrics.


  29. I always gain something (sometimes a lot) from reading your blogs. I’ve been away for a while with little time to read blogs …… but I am happy to be back, learning and growing through your writing. This is a touching tribute to your children and family … and to yourself (although you may not realize it). You seem to be a wise and loving man and I believe that your children are blessed that you are their dad.

    BTW, I didn’t know what YOLO means. Thank you for educating me on that too.



  30. Such a series of tender, meaningful, hopeful, moments spread across generations, and so beautifully written. Exquisite post. Thank you.


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